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Argentina’s Borders Crippled By Devastating Ransomware. Hackers’ Demand? $4 Million In Bitcoin

Argentina’s Borders Crippled By Devastating Ransomware. Hackers’ Demand? $4 Million In Bitcoin

The past couple of days have not been smooth sailing for Argentina’s immigration agency after a cybersecurity breach. Hackers who paralyzed Argentina’s borders in a ransomware attack are demanding to be paid $4 million worth of bitcoin before they can decrypt the files. Ransomware Extortionists Demand $4 Million In Bitcoin A group of cybercriminals successfully […]

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Argentina’s Borders Crippled By Devastating Ransomware. Hackers’ Demand? $4 Million In Bitcoin

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The past couple of days have not been smooth sailing for Argentina’s immigration agency after a cybersecurity breach.

Hackers who paralyzed Argentina’s borders in a ransomware attack are demanding to be paid $4 million worth of bitcoin before they can decrypt the files.

Ransomware Extortionists Demand $4 Million In Bitcoin

A group of cybercriminals successfully initiated a ransomware attack on Argentina’s immigration agency, Dirección Nacional de Migraciones, which stole sensitive information and briefly stopped border crossing in Argentina.

The hackers are demanding millions in bitcoin in exchange for decryption instructions. As reported by Bleeping Computer on Sept.6, the Argentinian government became aware of the ransomware scheme on August 27th after numerous calls from the technical team at the border points hinting that the immigration agency’s computer networks had been infected with an unknown virus.

“(The team) realized that it was not an ordinary situation, and evaluated the Central Data and Distributed Servers infrastructure, noting the activity of a virus that had affected the system’s MS Windows-based files (mainly ADAD SYSVOL and SYSTEM CENTER DPM) and Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, etc.)  in users’ jobs and shared folders.” 

To prevent the malware from spreading to other networks, they closed all computer systems used by the immigration offices and control posts. Consequently, the border crossings were halted for four hours until the servers were brought back online.

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The ransomware crooks later identified as NetWalker initially sought $2 million in bitcoin. A week later, they doubled the ransom to $4 million (or 355.8718 bitcoins at press time).

Argentinian Government Refuses To Negotiate With The Hackers

Despite the hackers’ crippling activities at the borders and stealing information, the Argentinian government has declined to pay the demanded ransom.

The authorities told local publication Infobae that the hackers did not get to the core systems of the immigration agency and they also did not access any sensitive information. As such, they are not planning to negotiate with the cyber criminals nor are they too worried about retrieving the stolen information.


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DISCLAIMER Read More

The views expressed in the article are wholly those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, ZyCrypto. This article is not meant to give financial advice. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the various cryptocurrencies available.

Source: https://zycrypto.com/argentinas-borders-crippled-by-devastating-ransomware-hackers-demand-4-million-in-bitcoin/

Blockchain

Smart contract exploits are more ethical than hacking… or not?

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There has been a lot of talk about the recent “hacks” in the decentralized finance realm, particularly in the cases of Harvest FInance and Pickle Finance. That talk is more than necessary, considering hackers stole more than $100 million from DeFi projects in 2020, accounting for 50% of all hacks this year, according to a CipherTrace report.

Related: Roundup of crypto hacks, exploits and heists in 2020

Some point out that the occurrences were merely exploits that shined a light on the vulnerabilities of the respective smart contracts. The thieves didn’t really break into anything, they just happened to casually walk through the unlocked back door. By this logic, since the hackers exploited flaws without actually hacking in the traditional sense, the act of exploiting is ethically more justifiable.

But is it?

The differences between an exploit and a hack

Security vulnerabilities are the root of exploits. A security vulnerability is a weakness that an adversary could take advantage of to compromise the confidentiality, availability or integrity of a resource.

An exploit is the specially crafted code that adversaries use to take advantage of a certain vulnerability, and to compromise a resource.

Even mentioning the word “hack” in reference to blockchain might baffle an industry outsider less familiar with the technology, as security is one of the centerpieces of distributed ledger technology’s mainstream appeal. It’s true, blockchain is an inherently secure medium of exchanging information, but nothing is totally unhackable. There are certain situations in which hackers can gain unauthorized access to blockchains. These scenarios include:

  • 51% attacks: Such hacks occur when one or more hackers gain control of over half of the computing power. It’s a very difficult feat for a hacker to achieve, but it does happen. Most recently in August 2020, Ethereum Classic (ETC) faced three successful 51% attacks in the span of a month.
  • Creation errors: These occur when security glitches or errors go overlooked during the creation of the smart contract. These scenarios present loopholes in the most potent sense of the term.
  • Insufficient security: When hacks are done through gaining undue access to a blockchain with weak security practices, is it really as bad if the door was left wide open?

Are exploits more ethically justifiable than hacks?

Many would argue that doing anything without consent cannot possibly be considered ethical, even if worse acts could have been committed. That logic also raises the question of whether an exploit is 100% illegal. For example, having a U.S. company registered in the Virgin Islands can also be seen as performing a legal tax “exploit,” though it isn’t considered outwardly illegal. As such, there are certain gray areas and loopholes in the system that people can use for their own benefit, and an exploit can also be seen as a loophole in the system.

Then there are cases such as cryptojacking, which is a form of cyberattack where a hacker hijacks a target’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency on the hacker’s behalf. Cryptojacking can be malicious or nonmalicious.

It may be safest to say that exploits are far from ethical. They are also entirely avoidable. In the early stages of the smart contract creation process, it’s important to follow the strictest standards and best practices of blockchain development. These standards are set to prevent vulnerabilities, and ignoring them can lead to unexpected effects.

It is also vital for teams to have intensive testing on a testnet. Smart contract audits can also be an effective way to detect vulnerabilities, though there are many audit companies that issue audits for little money. The best approach would be for companies to get several audits from different companies.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Pawel Stopczynski is the researcher and R&D director at Vaiot. He was previously the R&D director and a co-founder at Veriori and at UseCrypt. Since 2004, Pawel has been involved in the development of 18 IT projects in Poland and the United Kingdom, focusing on the private sector. He was a speaker at several IT conferences, and the organizer of two TEDx conferences. For his work, Pawel was awarded a gold medal at the Concours Lépine International Innovation Fair 2019 in Paris, and a gold medal of the French minister of defense.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/smart-contract-exploits-are-more-ethical-than-hacking-or-not

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Blockchain

Close to $10 Billion Worth of Crypto Longs Wiped off the Market Amid Sudden Crash

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It’s been a rough Sunday for the cryptocurrency market.

$7.8 Billion Liquidated in an Hour

The “up only” sentiment in the digital asset market took a major hit today as more than $7 billion in crypto long positions were liquidated within an hour in a sudden market wide crash.

According to data from bybt, more than $9 billion worth of crypto long positions were liquidated in the past 12 hours while more than $8 billion were wiped off the market in the last 4 hours.

Specifically, bitcoin’s price started trending downwards early Saturday but the sharp free fall commenced around 3:00 UTC on Sunday.

After recording new ATH day after day, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ price witnessed a steep downfall today almost touching the $50,000 mark. At the time of writing, bitcoin has regained some support and trades at $55,300.

According to crypto analyst Lark Davis, bitcoin breached the 50-day moving average during the unanticipated crash which is a rare event during a bull run. For context, BTC breached the 50 day MA only a few times during the 2017 bull market. In retrospect, all such dips proved to be immensely profitable buy opportunities.

Overleveraged Longs get REKT

While it typically pays to long in a bull market, investors must be cautious of too much optimism and avoid being long in an already overbought market to not get rekt in sudden market crashes like that of today.

Being long in a market with less liquidity is particularly dangerous as the order books are thin and a sudden dump can cause the price of the underlying asset to go down much more than in other liquid markets.

The Block’s Larry Cermak noticed this on Perp Protocol where the price of ether (ETH) reached as low as $900 due to low liquidity.

Crypto derivatives exchange FTX’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried share some interesting facts about the exchange during today’s crash.

According to SBF, the exchange witnessed trading volume close to $26 billion which was another all-time record volume day for FTX. At the same time, FTX had close to $250 million of liquidations today.

Related posts:

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Source: https://btcmanager.com/10-billion-crypto-longs-market-sudden-crash/

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Blockchain

Kraken Daily Market Report for April 17 2021

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Overview


  • Total spot trading volume at $2.51 billion, 57% above the 30-day average of $1.6 billion.
  • Total futures notional at $667.9 million.
  • The top five traded coins were, respectively, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Siacoin.
  • Strong returns from Nano (+51%) and Siacoin (+20%).

April 17, 2021 
 $2.51B traded across all markets today
 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP, CHF, AUD 
XBT 
$61000. 
↓0.8% 
$629.7M
XDG 
$0.2633 
↓27% 
$605.2M
ETH 
$2402.7 
↓1.3% 
$258.5M
USDT 
$1.0005 
↓0.07% 
$240.2M
SC 
$0.0521 
↑20% 
$159.8M
XRP 
$1.5902 
↑2.7% 
$117.6M
DOT 
$45.626 
↑10.0% 
$102.4M
LTC 
$308.22 
↓0.8% 
$97.2M
BCH 
$1090.7 
↓2.2% 
$79.1M
ADA 
$1.3814 
↓2.3% 
$52.2M
NANO 
$8.5722 
↑51% 
$46.2M
TRX 
$0.1617 
↓0.03% 
$41.1M
LINK 
$41.377 
↓1.8% 
$32.2M
ETC 
$41.413 
↑6.9% 
$29.7M
MANA 
$1.3461 
↑2.4% 
$29.2M
USDC 
$1.0000 
↑0.0% 
$27.3M
ALGO 
$1.5304 
↑1.3% 
$25.8M
XMR 
$350.49 
↑2.7% 
$19.4M
EOS 
$8.0465 
↓6.2% 
$16.1M
XLM 
$0.6043 
↓0.9% 
$15.5M
ZEC 
$275.80 
↑1.8% 
$12.6M
FIL 
$180.09 
↓1.6% 
$12.4M
DASH 
$371.48 
↓2.4% 
$11.5M
XTZ 
$7.2400 
↑0.17% 
$11.2M
KSM 
$464.33 
↑3.7% 
$11.2M
ATOM 
$26.097 
↑2.0% 
$9.9M
STORJ 
$2.3968 
↑2.0% 
$7.46M
ICX 
$2.8503 
↑9.1% 
$7.09M
UNI 
$36.055 
↓0.5% 
$5.28M
DAI 
$1.0004 
↑0.06% 
$4.46M
OMG 
$9.7769 
↓3.9% 
$4.33M
CRV 
$3.9120 
↓0.5% 
$4.3M
GRT 
$2.0052 
↑0.4% 
$3.71M
QTUM 
$17.893 
↓2.7% 
$3.68M
AAVE 
$434.98 
↓1.6% 
$3.67M
FLOW 
$35.971 
↓1.6% 
$3.14M
SNX 
$20.920 
↓0.4% 
$3.04M
BAT 
$1.5007 
↓1.8% 
$2.96M
EWT 
$20.354 
↓1.1% 
$2.92M
YFI 
$51356. 
↓3.8% 
$2.91M
OXT 
$0.8106 
↓4.1% 
$2.82M
KEEP 
$0.7062 
↓2.2% 
$2.7M
KAVA 
$6.5367 
↓0.8% 
$2.6M
OCEAN 
$1.6954 
↓0.12% 
$2.22M
COMP 
$563.50 
↓0.6% 
$2.07M
ANT 
$10.460 
↑1.4% 
$1.96M
LSK 
$6.6796 
↓4.2% 
$1.63M
WAVES 
$15.901 
↓4.2% 
$1.43M
REPV2 
$51.524 
↓2.8% 
$1.38M
REP 
$51.440 
↓2.7% 
$1.07M
KNC 
$3.4441 
↓4.0% 
$887K
MLN 
$94.057 
↑4.3% 
$827K
GNO 
$190.20 
↓0.5% 
$787K
BAL 
$63.429 
↓0.8% 
$694K
PAXG 
$1795.7 
↑0.17% 
$593K
TBTC 
$62632. 
↑0.0% 
$50.8K



#####################. Trading Volume by Asset. ##########################################

Trading Volume by Asset


The figures below break down the trading volume of the largest, mid-size, and smallest assets. Cryptos are in purple, fiats are in blue. For each asset, the chart contains the daily trading volume in USD, and the percentage of the total trading volume. The percentages for fiats and cryptos are treated separately, so that they both add up to 100%.

Figure 1: Largest trading assets: trading volume (measured in USD) and its percentage of the total trading volume (April 17 2021)



Figure 2: Mid-size trading assets: (measured in USD) (April 17 2021)



Figure 3: Smallest trading assets: (measured in USD) (April 17 2021)



#####################. Spread %. ##########################################

Spread %


Spread percentage is the width of the bid/ask spread divided by the bid/ask midpoint. The values are generated by taking the median spread percentage over each minute, then the average of the medians over the day.

Figure 4: Average spread % by pair (April 17 2021)



.


#########. Returns and Volume ############################################

Returns and Volume


Figure 5: Returns of the four highest volume pairs (April 17 2021)


Figure 6: Volume of the major currencies and an average line that fits the data to a sinusoidal curve to show the daily volume highs and lows (April 17 2021)



###########. Daily Returns. #################################################

Daily Returns %


Figure 7: Returns over USD and XBT. Relative volume and return size is indicated by the size of the font. (April 17 2021)



###########. Disclaimer #################################################

The values generated in this report are from public market data distributed from Kraken WebSockets api. The total volumes and returns are calculated over the reporting day using UTC time.

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Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/8684/kraken-daily-market-report-for-april-17-2021/

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